InterContinental Vienna: Meetings With Mozart

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InterContinental Vienna

The walls of the new arrivals area at Vienna International Airport are lined with classical music from Austria’s favorite composers, such as Mozart, Beethoven, Mahler and many others. At the 459-room InterContinental Vienna, they play Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto in A Minor in the elevators while Vivaldi’s Four Seasons provides backdrop at the exquisite Café Vienna in the lobby. Both the Vienna Convention Bureau and the InterContinental Vienna play heavily on the city’s history as the world’s wellspring of classical music to imbue meetings and events with a sense of refinement and cultural aplomb.

We checked in for the annual Access Austria MICE tradeshow held at the gorgeous Hofburg Vienna conference center, which was previously occupied by the Hapsburg dynasty centuries ago.

When you first walk into the lobby at the InterContinental Vienna, you’re immediately impressed with the sense of Old World charm highlighted by the many giant gold chandeliers and rich wood paneling. The staff is exceedingly prompt and efficient, especially at the 12th floor Club Lounge overlooking the city’s spectacular Romanesque and Baroque architecture.

There are two hotel entrances including one with parking for multiple buses and group registration. That combination of the smooth business flow and beautiful Viennese interior decor in both the public spaces and meeting rooms works well for large conference groups.

“We are the most authentic Austrian hotel when it comes to corporate hotels for meetings and conferences in Vienna,” says Armand Thelen, sales manager. “You have that ‘wow’ when you walk into the lobby and see the big beautiful chandeliers, all of the dark wood and the classic Viennese cafe.”

Thelen adds that the InterContinental was the first globally branded hotel to open in Vienna in the 1960s; it’s the only meeting hotel with natural light in the meeting spaces, and it’s the only group hotel with outdoor space. There’s a huge skating rink out back during the winter that the hotel F&B team can cater for skating events.

The guestrooms are outfitted with wired work desks, crisp carpet and linens, and new bathrooms with high-pressure showers. Windows open a little, and try to grab the units overlooking the forest of greenery at the adjacent Stadtpark.

GROUP SPACES

The meeting ballroom on the second floor, accessible from the lobby, is divisible by six. Planners here during this trip remarked how the carpet and paint fell fresh. Total capacity is 300 pax in rounds but Thelen says 250 is best. All together, there are 16 combined event rooms including a selection of breakouts for 50 pax each, with a combined total capacity for 800-pax galas.

Back on the lobby level, a previous fine-dining restaurant divisible by two with large windows facing the street is now exlusively a group restaurant and event space with a dedicated kitchen.

Also on the ground floor, MediterraNeo is a fun fine-dining restaurant with a country-style kitchen ambience. The grilled salmon on a bed of radioli was perfectly paired with a lively Gewürztraminer, followed by a delicate strawberry and raspberry cheesecake.

The Café Vienna and Intermezzo Bar are popular with the locals, adding a touch of levity to this corporate ambiance. The little pastries under glass look like fine art and the city’s famous cafe society is in full bloom during the late afternoon.

In terms of location, the InterContinental is well positioned midway between the Hofburg and fabulous Belvedere Museum, where many of our group visited the Gustav Klimt exhibit showcasing the Viennese painter’s famous masterpieces, Judith and The Kiss. Also check out the Museum Quartier across the street from the Hofburg for more art museums and restaurants.

The standalone hotel also provides easy access for transfers, which is why ex-President George W. Bush stayed here versus the handful of 5-star grand dames nearby that have traditionally been booked by world leaders ever since Mozart roamed these streets.

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